1. Kulesa, Marjorie G.

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In keeping with this year's theme of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) on October 30, Memories and Momentum, I looked into the history of Orthopaedic Nurse Day (OND). At the 1990 House of Delegates, a resolution was passed making October 30, 1990, the first OND. The quote in the article written for the Orthopaedic Nursing journal, May/June 2000, by Dee Schoen said: "Orthopaedic nurses throughout the country participated in events celebrating the first annual Orthopaedic Nurse Day. This was not only a celebration of orthopaedic nursing as a specialty, but a recognition of orthopaedic nurses' dedication and a proclamation of orthopaedic nurses' continued efforts to maintain and upgrade professional standards of practice. Mayors and governors from around the country proclaimed October 30 as Orthopaedic Nurses Day. Thanks to Sue Baird Holmes and her committee for this accomplishment." As NAON continued to partner with international nursing organizations, the House of Delegates in May 1998 "passed a change in the bylaws to make NAON an international organization and provide an international membership category that carries the full privileges of membership" (Orthopaedic Nursing journal May/June 2000). We now celebrate International Orthopaedic Nurses Day and have members in 17 countries. Many of our members have spoken at international nursing education conferences, and each year, we welcome our international attendees at Congress. We have members who have and are continuing to conduct missions carrying the world of orthopaedic nursing to both patients and nurses in many countries.

Figure. Marjorie G. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Marjorie G. Kulesa

As I started to write this letter, I thought who better to ask how to celebrate the day but NAON members. So out went the e-mail: "I am in the process of writing my President's Letter for the fall Orthopaedic Journal. As this will come to our members in time for International Orthopaedic Nurses Day I am asking for your help. I would like to feature information as to how you, either as a chapter or at your work celebrated our day." The following is what was shared with me.


Over the past few years, according to Brenda Elliff, president of the Spokane Chapter, the chapter has sponsored dinner meetings (topics included Humor Good for the Bones and Postoperative Pain Management) with education credits and had a dessert buffet that was served by some of their orthopaedic doctors. Their board sent cards thanking their members for being an orthopaedic nurse, and one year they sent pizzas to their night nurse members who could not make it to the workshop.


Nancy Hiltz shared that at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts, they schedule orthopaedic-related CE programs, the orthopaedic doctors often send lunch in recognition, and an information board is displayed showing their orthopaedic team. This year, their theme is "Orthopaedics on the Move." They are going to create the trail of the team involved in the patient care through the patient continuum-pretest, outpatient, operating room, postanesthesia care room, and the orthopaedic unit.


NAON Board Director Maureen Storey's office gives a "thank you " note and a well-appreciated gift card to the local mall that can be used for Starbucks coffee, lunch at the food court, or even 10 dollars' worth of Mrs. Field's cookies-yum!!


For many years, Linda Hightower from Missoula, Montana, has her local supermarket make bone-shaped cookies to have at the nurses' station at community medical center in celebration of OND. The hospital administration liked this idea that they now underwrite the cost. In addition, they recognize all of the nurses who are Orthopaedic Nurse Certified. Linda also shared that the Western Montana Chapter has had workshops either on or near OND. One that was particularly memorable was with Dr. Loesse from Montana who started a method for repairing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the 60s. They had skeleton decorations, he signed books for them, and a good time was had by all.


Susie Sharrock, president of DONI, Dallas Orthopaedic Nurses, wrote about a fun project they did one year. They made flowerpots with lollipops as the flowers. They then divided them up, taking at least one flowerpot to each hospital represented by their membership. Whether it went to the operating room, orthopaedic department or the orthopaedic floor, it did NOT matter ... everyone loved the lollipops in the flowerpots. Plus, they told each nurse, Happy Ortho Nurse Day!!


On the nursing unit at Bryan LGH Medical Center, Julie Twiss' staff celebrated the International Orthopaedic Nurses Day October 2008 by providing candy on the unit for visitors, staff, physicians and allied healthcare professionals, and patients who could participate. All staff on the unit received NAON bags (the ones from last year's Congress) as her gift to them for a job well done. Her Southeast Nebraska chapter had a speaker on the mechanism of injury for trauma and had a potluck dinner. All orthopaedic staff, whether members of NAON or not, were invited to attend from 3 hospitals and 6 orthopaedic surgeons' offices. What a wonderful way to spread the NAON message!!


Patrick Olsen of the University of California, San Diego Medical Center and the president of the San Diego Chapter 37 shared that for the past 4 years, the University of California, San Diego Medical Center has had an orthopaedic symposium every October 30th. The symposium of more than 200 attendees is intended to be a low-cost educational day with CEs. It is a themed event (bones for orthopaedics and Halloween along with their chosen subtheme for the year) and is also quite fun. The symposium is called BONES (Bonafide Orthopaedic Nursing Educational Symposium). This year's symposium will be termed "BONES: The Driving Forces of Orthopaedics." Congratulation goes to them as they won the ADVANCE for NURSES magazine's "Best Nursing Team of the Year" for 2008, for putting on the symposium that reaches out to all of the county's healthcare facilities.


Alisha Banken of the Rochester Area Chapter said that they celebrate OND with an annual fund-raiser for the chapter. This year, they will be selling T-shirts, sweatshirts, and pullover jackets with "Orthopaedic Nursing" imprinted on the front. The money raised with these efforts is used to support chapter NAON members to attend the annual conference. What a great way not only to encourage members to attend the Congress but also to help them financially!!


Colleen Hagge, president of the Orthopaedic Nurses of Central Iowa and the president of the Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board (ONCB), says that their chapter always meets for dinner during the week of OND. The chapter funds pay for each member's meals. They also invite and pay for the managers of the orthopaedic units as well as Colleen's office manager to thank them for their support of orthopaedic nursing. Last year, they drew a name from all members for a $100 scholarship that can be used toward a CE offering, a NAON membership renewal, a certification examination or renewal, or next year's NAON Congress registration. For the past few years, they have had a table at the NAON Mall at Congress-anyone else have one of those wonderful skeleton fabric purses that they made? As a way of getting the NAON name and information about orthopaedic certification out to their community, their chapter also makes a packet of NAON and ONCB pamphlets, along with some chocolate, and delivers them to other orthopaedic offices and the orthopaedic units at the hospitals during Ortho Nurse's Week. What a great idea!!


Since the beginning of OND, Mary K. Wollan, president of the Twin Cities Chapter and immediate past president of NAON, said that the orthopaedic physicians at Hennepin County Medical Center have hosted a lunch for all the orthopaedic nurses, from the floor, clinic, and operating room. It is held in a "neutral" area and is a chance for all of us to get together and just enjoy being special for a day. Every year, one of the physicians, who has taken on the role of being in charge of the event, makes sure that it is arranged for and that he is able to be in attendance. It is always well received and appreciated.


The nurses at Winthrop University Hospital, New York, have week-long festivities for the staff on the orthopaedic floor-lunch, snacks, and dinners are supplied by nurse manager Pat Pearsall and the orthopaedic doctors. There is a display in the hospital lobby of all the orthopaedic nurses, and "Orthopaedic Fast Fact" handouts on orthopaedic conditions and prevention are available for the public to take home. They even have a special day for their patient care assistants called "Hooray for our PCAs!!"


The Hospital for Special Surgery celebrated October 30th by recognizing all RN staff with Orthopaedic Nurses Day's ribbons and a rose to all ONCB-certified nurses.


On OND, for the past 2 years, the NAON chapters of ONNY (Orthopaedic Nurses of New York) and LION (Long Island Orthopaedic Nurses-my chapter) as well as members at large of NAON appeared on The Today Show at Rockefeller Center. We took large posters recognizing International Orthopaedic Nurses Day. We even got 5 minutes of airtime with Al Roker, who exclaimed, "I know orthopaedic nurses!!" I wonder how many of you are up for the challenge to see how many radio and TV stations we can get recognition on this International Orthopaedic Nurses Day? And if you do please let us know about it!!


Thanks everyone for sending us these great ideas!!


Now I ask you-how can you share our organization with others? In this 30th year of NAON, is this the year that we each use the momentum of this day to bring in a new member? NAON has great incentives for membership as listed on our Web site,


Finally, I invite each of you to celebrate our day-whether you are the only NAON member in your office, clinic, or hospital or if you have many NAON members there-enjoy the day. Treat yourself to something special and know that the NAON Board appreciates your membership and all the wonderful work that you are doing caring for patients with orthopaedic conditions.